This image provided by Courtyard by Marriott shows the stadium suite at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Feb. 3, 2022, the site of NFL football's Super Bowl 56. (Dan Steinberg/Courtyard by Marriott via AP)
This image provided by Courtyard by Marriott shows the stadium suite at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Feb. 3, 2022, the site of NFL football's Super Bowl 56. (Dan Steinberg/Courtyard by Marriott via AP)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — About 10 years ago, Chad Vincent was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He vowed not to allow the disease to limit his experiences.

On Sunday, Vincent will attend the Super Bowl — one of many sporting events on his attendance resume.

“My number one passion is my love for the Chicago Bears and the National Football League, so we started going on trips,” says Vincent, a physical education teacher from Mundelein, Illinois, about 30 miles from Chicago. "We went to the Super Bowl Experiences, we went to the NFL Pro Bowl, we went to the NFL combine. I just don’t want to let anything slip away in the time that I have here.

“Since I started doing that, amazing opportunities just keep on coming. To be able to go to the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of all experiences. I was not expecting all of this, I was just hoping to get myself into the stadium and we figure out the rest.”

Vincent and his wife, Jen, are not only getting into SoFi Stadium, they will be sleeping there Saturday night.

Vincent won the Courtyard by Marriott Super Bowl Sleepover contest, in which a Super Bowl stadium suite is transformed into a guest room. The couple will wake up on Super Bowl Sunday inside the home of the Rams and Chargers.

“I’ve had a dream to go to the Super Bowl, but have always wondered how I’d get myself there,” Vincent says. “Last year, as soon as Tom Brady lifted the Lombardi Trophy, I told myself this is going to be my year to get there. I started a 365-day countdown, posting photos of my family and myself at various NFL events and games throughout our lives. I just wanted to showcase my love for it all.”

One day after his 30th birthday, Vincent was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Even his students had noticed he was having trouble with is muscles, and after seeing a doctor, Vincent noted that his father didn't walk well and his grandmother had been in a wheelchair since she was 60 years old.

Fortunately, the adult form of muscular dystrophy (facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy) has a much slower effect, though it attacks and degenerates muscles.

“It was at that point, and I was always big into sports, that I saw life from a different lens,” he says. “I need to live every day to the fullest and take advantage of all the things I love, and I am not going to say no to anything. I am going to go out and do as much as I can.

“Medically there is nothing that we can do about it, so my main focus is doing what I love to do. I am a teacher and happen to work in sports,” he adds of his K-8th grade physical education job. “Most of the time I keep myself busy. I have found that throughout the years, I am more tired, but my main focus is to stay active and stay busy. And in my free time that’s when we go off and stay busy with sporting activities, traveling to our favorite events.”

Add the Super Bowl to that list.

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More AP Super Bowl coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/super-bowl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL